The virtuous circle that is the CNC’s Aide aux cinémas du monde fund
- CANNES 2019: The CNC invited directors and producers whose films have benefitted from the French support fund, with 17 such titles featuring in the various Cannes selections
The Aide aux cinémas du monde (ACM) fund is a form of production support offered by the CNC alongside the Institut Français and is made available to foreign directors: the 350 films to have obtained ACM support since 2012 cover a range of 90 nationalities! This Monday 20 May, at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, the beach which is home to the CNC pavilion welcomed onto its sands three directors who have previously benefitted from ACM support: Afghanistan’s Shahrbanoo Sadat (The Orphanage [+see also:
interview: Shahrbanoo Sadat
film profile], Directors’ Fortnight), America’s Danielle Lessovitz (Port Authority [+see also:
film profile], Un Certain Regard) and Colombia’s Franco Lolli (Litigante [+see also:
film profile], Critics’ Week).
"I couldn’t rely on support from my own country, Afghanistan”, explains director Shahrbanoo Sadat. “The Aide aux cinémas du monde fund was the sign that my film would finally come into being." For her French producer, Xavier Rocher (La Fabrica Nocturna), "the ACM has been a real quality label which we’ve been able to use to build up finance for our film and to win over European producers." Danielle Lessovitz is a rare example of an American director supported by the ACM: "I was lucky enough to meet the French producer Virginie Lacombe (Madeleine Films). For us, too, the fund was a form of validation which allowed us to obtain other forms of finance." As for Franco Lolli, even if he did receive a significant level of Colombian support for his film, the ACM was pivotal for his French producers (namely Les films du Worso): "We obtained ACM funding for the post-production phase, when we were editing the film”, the director tells us. “My French producers took the risk of losing their own money before the film was awarded these funds."
On the production side, France’s Edouard Weil (Rectangle) was in Cannes, taking part in the round table on Elia Suleiman’s It Must Be Heaven [+see also:
interview: Elia Suleiman
film profile], which has been selected for the competition: "the Aide aux cinémas du monde fund was the first step in the long process of obtaining finance for this film. It was the first form of aid we obtained and the only aid to come from France. It’s a quality label which subsequently helps French producers gain support from Eurimages. On a wider level, the ACM allows us French producers to gain access to directors from all around the world." And as a quarter of the ACM grant must be spent in the country of the director receiving the funds and half must be spent in France, the directors who have obtained this aid end up working, at least in part, with French technicians during the filming or the editing process. It’s a virtuous circle.
Mainly awarded on the basis of artistic criteria and very highly sought after, the ACM is becoming increasingly selective. Every year, 2,500 films hailing from 135 countries apply to the committee of experts led by Charles Tesson (who is also Artistic Director of Cannes’ Critics’ Week), but only 40 films will be supported each year … The budget of 4.5 million euros cannot be extended. As director Franco Lolli summed up with humour: "It’s harder to obtain support from the Aide aux cinémas du monde fund than it is to be selected in Cannes!"
Endowed with an average sum of 130,000 euros, the ACM widened its offering four years ago to establish an international distribution support fund: the ACMD. The latter was developed by the CNC, alongside the European Union, for the benefit of sales agents looking to distribute their film/s in at least three different countries. It consists of a grant of up to 60,000 euros and is open to vendors from all member countries of the EU, whatever the nationality of the film.
(Translated from French)
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